The Lakewood Planning Board, boosted by intervention from Fourteenth Street residents, continue to fight together in court to defend the Board's denial of an application for a 9 unit cul-de-sac road off Fourteenth Streets.

The application was submitted by Besadar Holdings, owned by Solomon Halpern, and he has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Board's denial of his application.

The case is very contentious and it appears it all depends on whether or not the application was "fully conforming" and if it was fully conforming, whether or not the Board has latitude to deny an application for safety and other concerns.

As first reported here on FAA News, back in June 2022, the Lakewood Township's Planning Board very uncharacteristically denied a "mostly conforming" application for 9 new single family homes on a cul-de-sac road along the southwest side of Fourteenth Street, southeast of Curtis Lane.

The application which was filed by Solomon Halpern of Besadar Holdings, was represented by Attorney Robert C. Shea, Esq. and Engineer Brian Flannery.

There are many trees on this secluded 3.2 acres site which was the former home of infamous land owner Sydney Krupnik.

Many neighbors, represented by Attorney Ron Gasiorowski and Engineer Gordon Gemma, opposed the application citing traffic safety concerns. They also spoke highly of their "unique neighborhood" which by and large does not have basement apartments. They also noted that there is no stopping or standing along their narrow section of Fourteenth Street, so if there is insufficient internal space for all the cars to be parked, there will be no other place for them to park.

When the Board questioned the applicant whether or not he proposed to build basements, he responded "perhaps yes, perhaps no." The applicant's professionals flat out denied a compromised proposed by the Board to approve the application with an stipulation of a deed restriction prohibiting basement apartments.

The application proposed a standard 32 foot wide road pavement, curb and sidewalk, 4 parking spaces per home, and a stormwater management system on-site and within the cul-de-sac, as well as extensions of utility mains, landscaping, and street lighting.

Each of the single family homes were proposed on 12,000 sq foot lots, as is permitted in the R-12 Single-Family Residential Zone District. As such, no variances were requested, making this technically a "fully conforming application." However, there were some minor submission and design waivers requested which the Board weighed heavily on:

Lakewood Township's Unified Development Ordinance requires developers to submit architectural plans with a minimum of 4 basic house designs for proposed residential development consisting of 7 to 15 dwellings. The applicant did not submit the required architectural plans.

In response, the applicant’s engineer indicated that the proposed lots in this subdivision will be sold to individual buyers who will build custom homes and therefore it's not possible to submit architectural plans now.

Applicants are also required to provide an Environmental Impact Statement. In response, the applicant’s engineer claimed no environmental constraints are present on site.

The application sought a design waiver from providing non-radial lot lines. The Board Engineer recommended that the Board should grant this design waiver because the non-radial lot lines have been designed such that 2 of the proposed lots will meet the minimum area and width requirements, while keeping stormwater management facilities entirely on a single lot.

The application also sought a design waiver from proposing street trees along the entire Fourteenth Street frontage. The applicant’s engineer indicated that they are requesting this design waiver because their proposed stormwater management system will be in the way of the required street trees.

Additionally, the application sought a landscaping waiver. Originally, at the initial application submission, the application proposed only minimal landscaping consisting of some street trees, and no foundation or buffer plantings. The neighbors vehemently argued that the site is currently heavily forested and they wanted to maintain the "secluded area" feeling. The Township Shade Tree Commission agreed that the proposed landscaping plan was insufficient and they recommended additional tree plantings. In response, the applicant agreed to install some additional trees. However, the application still sought a waiver from providing sufficient landscaping and buffering between proposed lots. The applicant’s engineer explained that this waiver is being requested because the future homeowners may want to provide fencing between lots.

The application would have required a Homeowners Association because the proposed Stormwater Management system was to be placed on private property would require an HOA to maintain.

As is typical at Planning Board applications, the details of the proposed HOA was not presented to the Board as that is typically worked out with the Township Engineering Department after the Board approval is granted.

In this case, however, the neighbors opposed deferment on submitting the specifics of the HOA out of concern that this development would cause drainage and flooding on Fourteenth Street and the Township would not be sufficiently protected to ensure someone is responsible to maintain the Stormwater Management system.

This application got very special treatment from the Planning Board, which typically approves new developments easily, especially if they are technically fully conforming.

The Board cited concerns that there would be insufficient parking both off and on-street due to the "possibility" that there would be basements.

Board Chairman Moshe Neiman explained that his hesitations with this application were due to the "uniqueness" and "specific clientele" of the Fourteenth Street neighborhood.

The applicant's attorney reminded the Board that they are not legally permitted to deny an application solely due to off-site traffic conditions.

In response, a board member stated that "we can consider the safety of the neighborhood."

Board Attorney John Jackson advised the Board that the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law prohibits the Board from being arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious in their decision or from imposing arbitrary conditions on any specific applicant, however, if there are "peculiar conditions" on the site than the Board does have latitude to deny the application.

Before voting on the application, the Board proposed to approve the application with a condition imposing a deed restriction from building basement apartments. The applicant refused this offer.

Finally, the Board voted nearly unanimously to deny the application. Only Chairman Neiman and Mr. Yair Stern abstained from voting.

Subsequently, on July 11, Attorney Robert Shea, on behalf of Besadar Holdings submitted a letter to the Planning Board requesting that they permit the applicant to return to the Board for an additional hearing to request that the Board "reconsider" their application.

He noted that, during the hearing, a number of issues including sufficient parking and pedestrian safety were brought up by a number of neighbors. "We will be in a position, if the Board is so inclined to reconsider this application, to submit a revised set of plans that will show a revised parking scheme for the Residential homes."

Attorney Ron Gasiorowski, on behalf of the neighbors who were vehemently objecting to the application, responded with a letter to the Board opposing the request for reconsideration.

Mr. Gasiorowski argued that the Board's denial "clearly demonstrates that the Board does not believe that the applicant's property can reasonably and/ or safely support the creation of 9 units with 9 basements for a total of 18 units."

Mr. Gasiorowski further noted that Board members attempted to compromise with the applicant by getting him to reduce the number of lots or to remove the basement apartments, yet he refused.

Finally, Mr. Gasiorowski charged that the traffic study submitted by the applicant was "faulted" as it didn't accurately count the basement apartments and therefore the application was "incomplete" at best and "actually misleading."

As previously reported here on FAA News, the Board did hold a hearing for the Reconsideration request, and despite renewed pushback from the developer, they again uncharacteristically advocated strongly on behalf of this "unique" neighborhood.

At the hearing, Attorney Shea emphasized that they continue to insist on the same number of lots and with basement apartments, however they would add additional off-street parking spaces to alleviate the neighbors concerns that parking would overflow onto Fourteenth Street which is a narrow road at this section of the road.

One of the neighbors who was objecting reminded the Board that they have grave concerns with existing drainage / flooding issues in the neighborhood and therefore they are objecting to the applicant being permitted to defer presenting the details of the proposed HOA.

The application would have required a Homeowners Association because the proposed Stormwater Management system was to be placed on private property and that would require an HOA to maintain.

As is typical at Planning Board applications, the details of the proposed HOA was not presented to the Board as that is usually worked out with the Township Engineering Department after the Planning Board approval is granted.

In this case, however, the neighbors opposed deferment on submitting the specifics of the HOA out of concern that this development would cause drainage and flooding on Fourteenth Street and the Township would not be sufficiently protected to ensure someone is responsible to maintain the Stormwater Management system.

Chairman Neiman uncharacteristically sided strongly with the neighbors, and he put his sentiments "on the record."

"Yes, the application is conforming, and therefore, in a court of law a judge might side with you, however, this board needs to take into account the exclusivity of this neighborhood," Chairman Neiman stated.

"We can't deny this application solely due to traffic, and if we could do that, we would deny every application because there is traffic everywhere in Lakewood. However, this is a very exclusive neighborhood, with neighbors who have lived here a long time and there are no basements in this area, therefore, this application would change the look of this whole neighborhood and that's why the neighbors fought so strongly against this application," Chairman Neiman added.

Chairman Neiman also exhorted the applicant, stating "even if the vote to reconsider is approved, I will not approve the final application unless the parties do sit down and become much closer together than they are now."

Curiously, while the rest of the Board then voted to deny the request to reconsider the application, Chairman Neiman was the single vote in support of the request.

Following the vote to deny the application, the Board adopted a Resolution of Denial which states:

"While the application represented a conforming subdivision, it is the duty of the Planning Board to weigh the evidence and to exercise its discretion in the event of significant concerns of the Board. The Board ultimately rejected the application on the basis of significant public safety concerns regarding the lack of street parking coupled with the substantial proposed density particularly in light of the basement apartments notes on the plans. The Board found that an approval of this application would have significant detrimental effects on the safety of the neighborhood.

"The Board finds the applicant's proposal does not further the purposes of zoning pursuant to the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law because:

1) The applicant's proposal is not the best planning alternative

2) The proposed development would not secure safety from fire, flood, panic, and other natural and man-made disasters."

Just prior to the Board's vote, the applicant's mother spoke up and said that if the application is denied, her son will definitely sue the Board.

As first reported here on FAA News, her son did make good on that threat and, represented by Attorney Shea, he filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Board's denial.

In his Complaint in Lieu of Prerogative Writs, in Ocean County Superior Court, the developer is seeking to overturn the Board's denial, asserting that only the design waiver from providing non-radial lot lines is a valid issue, as the design waiver from providing street trees along the entire Fourteenth Street frontage, which was cited by the Board Engineer is actually not a requirement, and therefore "though there was one single design waiver, the application was "effectively as of right."

The lawsuit continues to charge that although the Board may have had the right to deny this single waiver, that was not the Board's basis for denying the application, noting "neither of the conclusions of the Resolution are representative of the testimony provided at the hearing. At no time did the Board question any expert regarding safety concerns. In fact, the Resolution itself is devoid of any findings of fact on the record which speak to health and safety concerns upon which the Board could have drawn its conclusion."

The lawsuit asserts that Gordon Gemma, who was the only expert to present opposing testimony, only stood for the proposition that the Board lacked jurisdiction over the application due to issues he raised regarding the proposed basement apartments. He did not raise any traffic or public safety issues. Yet, the Board did not deny the application due to jurisdiction issues regarding the basements but due to traffic and public safety concerns.

The lawsuit also contends that Board member Justin Flancbaum urged several times that "a conscientious developer might propose a conservation easement or tree save area to be respectful to the neighbors," despite that no such easement is required nor do any of the surrounding properties have such an easement.

As such, the Board's decision to deny the application for health and safety was "arbitrary, unreasonable, and capricious," the lawsuit asserts, seeking for a Court Order overturning the denial as well as to recover legal fees and costs of filing the lawsuit.

Attorney Jilian Mcleer of King, Kitrick, Jackson, McWeeney and Wells, representing the Planning Board filed an Answer denying all allegations and seeking an Order "dismissing the Plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice; sustaining the validity of the Board’s decision and adoption of Resolution, denying all equitable and legal relief requested in the Plaintiff’s Complaint; granting the Board's attorneys fees and costs of suit; and such other relief as this Court may deem just and appropriate."

Subsequent to the filing of the lawsuit, as reported here on FAA News, the neighbors who originally urged the Board to deny the application, now represented by Attorney Edward Liston, joined the fight in court.

Mr. Liston filed a Motion to Intervene, writing to the Court that "the neighbors are concerned that if the application is approved, it will have a severe detrimental impact on the use and enjoyment of their property and its value."

As previously reported here on FAA News, Besadar Holdings consented for the neighbors to intervene in the lawsuit.

Besadar Holdings previously submitted its Trial Briefs.

Attorney Rob Shea argued that the application was variance free and therefore, despite any supposed "environmental concerns" and the like, the Planning Board simply lacked jurisdiction to deny the application.

Regarding applications with variances, the New Jersey Municipal Land Use Law (40:55D-70) provides that "no variance or other relief may be granted... without a showing that such variance or other relief can be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and will not substantially impair the intent and the purpose of the zone plan and zoning ordinance."

However, for fully compliant applications, the MLUL (NJSA 40:55D-46b) provides that "the planning board shall, if the proposed development complies with the ordinance and this act, grant preliminary site plan approval."

Mr. Shea cited case law from the New Jersey Supreme Court, in a 1994 case known as Pizzo Mantin Group vs. Twp. of Randolph, which declared that, Board members utilizing their own judgement to make inconsistent decisions as to what is prohibited and what is required is the "antithesis" of the Municipal Land Use Law's intended framework which was that there be consistency, uniformity and predictability in the subdivision approval process and therefore, unless the applicant fails to abide by the standards in the ordinances, a board has no choice but to grant an application as anything to the contrary would be an invitation to inconsistency, controversy and arbitrary action by boards.

Mr. Shea further asserted that the Resolution of Denial contains "patently invalid conclusions of law," and "findings of fact not based on those presented at the hearing" - in violation of State Statute.

Mr. Shea asserted that while the Resolution claims that the Board denied the application due to "safety concerns," the Board never discussed safety concerns during the entire public hearing, and they only put this in the Resolution because they really wanted to deny this application from the outset and they simply asked Board Attorney John Jackson to find them leeway to legally deny the application and he's the one who came up with the alleged "safety concerns."

"As the transcript sets forth, a Board member made further inquiry of Jackson and asked if any such reasons for denial that Jackson listed should be part of the resolution. Jackson responded "absolutely, I think somebody should bring it up." It was only after this that the Board moved to deny the by-right application on the grounds of these manufactured safety concerns. It should be noted that at no time did any Board professional address an alleged safety concern on the record. Moreover, there was nothing in any of the Board's Review Letters which indicated the application posed s safety concern either. 

"Neither the Resolution nor the record contains any discussion from the Board or testimony from an expert regarding an alleged safety hazard... The issue of safety was simply a manufactured concern to gain "leverage" to deny the application...

"As such the Court should find that the Resolution contains conclusions which were not based on the facts of the record and therefore violated State Statute. The Court should, as a result, invalidate the Resolution and approve the application," Mr. Shea concluded.

Planning Board Attorney Jillian McLeer Esq. has now submitted the Board's Trial Briefs.

Ms. McLeer argues: 

As an initial matter, Plaintiff’s contention that the subject application was “by-right” is inaccurate. Plaintiff submits that the Board had no choice but to approve the application because it complied with all bulk requirements specifically delineated in the applicable ordinance. However, the subdivision did not comply with all applicable ordinance and zone requirements. In fact, it was made abundantly clear at the multiple public hearings in this matter that the submitted subdivision plan required two design waivers: from proposing street trees along the entire Fourteenth Street frontage, and from providing non-radial lot lines. 

While the applicant tried to minimize the need for the design waivers and went so far as to call them “de minimus," Mr. Flannery conceded that if the applicant wanted to eliminate the design waiver for street trees, it would result in having to adjust the drainage on the site to put stormwater management facilities in a less desirable position to accommodate street trees. Indeed, site drainage issues were of major concern to the Board as can be gleaned by review of the transcripts of all three public hearings.

Additionally, Mr. Flannery confirmed that, while the building envelopes are provided on the subdivision plan, the reality is that the applicant does not know the actual size of the houses that will ultimately be built on each lot. In light of this, the Board questioned what the stormwater management plan submitted by the applicant was based on. In an attempt to quell these concerns, Mr. Flannery conceded that if the Board acts favorably, as a part of resolution compliance, the applicant would perform an analysis based on 25 percent coverage on each lot to see if the proposed drainage facilities could accommodate that. He reminded the Board that building coverage would be more than 25 percent if the future homeowner went to the zoning board for a variance.

Considering the concerns of the Board regarding the lot coverage and whether the drainage proposed would accommodate the maximum coverage as allowed by the ordinance, the applicant readily agreed to return to the Board with an updated plan showing larger building envelopes.

The Board conducted two lengthy public hearings and a third public hearing at the applicant’s request for potential reconsideration of the denial. The record is replete with concerns on the part of the Board members as to traffic, parking, and safety in the immediate vicinity of the subject property. The Board voiced concerns regarding the submitted traffic report, which was indicated to be based on nine residential units.

The Board voiced substantial concerns regarding the submitted traffic report, which was indicated to be based on nine residential units. The Chairman, with intimate knowledge of Lakewood Township considering he lives in a nearby neighborhood in the Township, explained: “but my block, which is also ten houses with no basements . . . we generate triple that amount on peak hours” (referring to the 14 peak hour trips indicated in the McDonough and Rea traffic study submitted with this application). He further noted that while the traffic counts are on 14th Street, the property at issue is not located on 14th Street, and that this is a very congested area: with many shuls, school bus routes, and narrow shoulders with cars parked in the shoulders.

An objecting attorney, Ronald Gasiorowski, Esq. introduced a witness who brought to the Board’s attention the fact that two sewer lines were proposed for every new lot, indicating that the presence of basement apartments at these proposed new homes was probable.

In light of this testimony, Chairman Neiman voiced his significant concerns over the validity and accuracy of the traffic report submitted by the applicant, and the Board was reminded that it is well within the Board’s rights and responsibilities to weigh and consider evidence such as a traffic report.

Board members continued to voice concerns over the traffic movement in the area during the June hearing. A board member asked Mr. Flannery if there was any indication as to how many cars will be turning left and/or turning right out of this development, and if there is any way to restrict it to right turn only out of the development. Mr. Flannery responded in the negative to the first question, and as to the second, opined that to restrict the flow of traffic would be detrimental as it would send people down towards 14th Street or they’d make a U-turn and come back. The Board expressed concern that, with the relatively new traffic light installed at Hope Chapel Road and 14th Street, traffic backs up very far during peak hours in this neighborhood. Despite the substantial, significant concerns the Board voiced over and over again at both public hearings considering the accuracy of the submitted traffic report and traffic movement at the site and in the immediate vicinity of the site, the applicant never presented the testimony of its traffic expert to the Board.

During the public comment portion of the June 2022 hearing, several individuals who live in or around the neighborhood at issue voiced concerns regarding the abundance of traffic in the neighborhood, and the fact that these nine new homes, with or without the inclusion of basement apartments, will only add substantially to the traffic issue. One member of the public reiterated a concern of the board members, which is that there is no parking from Curtis Lane to Cedar Road, in addition to three large shuls in the area, two of which have full-time colleges and host events at night. 

Throughout the hearings, the Board members made suggestions to the applicant as to ways in which to improve the plan so that the Board would feel more comfortable approving same. For example, the prospect of a conservation easement was brought up several times by board members throughout the meetings. The Board engineer also suggested a conservation easement, which would alleviate the Board’s concerns regarding clear cutting of trees and provide justification for the design waiver request as to street trees. At the end of the first public hearing, the Board engineer reminded the applicant that it should consult with the Department of Public Works as to the drainage and clarify whether the development would need a homeowner’s association regarding same, as drainage owned by individual property owners is not allowed under the new stormwater regulations. A board member asked the applicant if it would consider lessening the number of lots proposed.

The applicant refused to consider any of the recommendations of the Board, and never provided the Board with an answer as to whether a homeowner’s association would be maintaining the stormwater management areas once the homes were built. The Board chairman made it extremely clear to the applicant prior to the vote that the Board felt the application, as proposed, was too much:

“It’s too much. And if there would be something here that you’re giving back, you know what, we’ll take away one, we’ll take away two . . . we’ll do away with the basements. I think, from what I can understand, I think that’s where the Board is leaning. So, at this point you’re not changing anything.”

The applicant confirmed that it was not willing to make any changes or consider any of the recommendations of the Board.

The Board duly considered the testimony of the applicant’s professionals and the objector’s professionals. For any expert witness, the Board can accept all, some, or none of the professional’s testimony. (Klug v. Bridgewater Tp. Planning Board) The Board duly considered all evidence presented, including the testimony provided by Brian Flannery, the traffic report submitted by the applicant, and the substantial public comments voiced by several members of the public at both hearings, and voted to deny this subdivision application with design waivers for significant drainage, traffic and safety issues concerning the subject property and the immediate surrounding area.

The Board ultimately voted to deny the application based on significant safety concerns regarding traffic and parking issues on- site and on the streets directly surrounding the subject property.

The applicant requested reconsideration of the vote by way of correspondence dated July 11, 2022. The matter was heard by the Board on August 2, 2022. At this hearing, Mr. Shea requested reconsideration of the vote, but at the same time reiterated – again – that the applicant is not at liberty to amend the plans to reflect any of the changes discussed at the prior hearings. The Chairman made a point that there are no variances here, that there is “no reason to turn down this application”, and that “a judge might agree with him”, but goes on to clarify: “But, if you’re coming to a Board who, most of these Board members have lived here for a long time, understand the exclusiveness of that area there, but it’s not . . . a joke. The sensitivity of that area.” The applicant reiterated that there is no change to the 9 lots being proposed, and that it would not consider a deed restriction for basement apartments.

The Board denied the request for Reconsideration.

New Jersey courts have consistently held that actions of municipal boards are presumed valid and will not be interfered with unless the local agency action is determined to be arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable.

Furthermore, it is well-settled law that local officials, because of their familiarity with their community’s characteristics and interests, be allowed wide latitude in the exercise of their delegated discretion.

Moreover, the concerns of the Board members were not as to the “general welfare or the purpose of zoning under the Municipal Land Use Law," as asserted by plaintiff, but rather, specifically tailored to legitimate concerns regarding traffic, safety, and drainage on the property at issue and in the immediately surrounding area.

Additionally, contrary to plaintiff’s argument, the resolution does not merely conclude that the subdivision fails to advance the purposes of zoning. Rather, the resolution calls out the site-specific concerns, referenced at length in Point I of this legal brief, as the basis upon which the Board denied the application.

Plaintiff contends that the resolution contains no recitation of any fact suggesting that the Board had concerns regarding safety. This is inaccurate. The resolution clearly contains facts suggesting that the Board had concerns regarding safety. The resolution at paragraph 18 suggests that the Board questioned the amount of traffic in this area and had concerns regarding how narrow 14th Street is. The resolution also suggests at paragraph 25 that the Board questioned restricting out movements to right-turn only given traffic concerns. The resolution also reflects that the applicant’s engineer, Mr. Flannery, opined that drivers would be making U-turns down 14th Street, which would be dangerous.

The traffic concerns mentioned by the Board at several times throughout the two public hearings is certainly not a “manufactured issue designed to grant the Board ‘leverage’ in denying this application” as plaintiff contends. The concerns the Board had regarding traffic at the site were mentioned multiple times, at length, throughout the entirety of the public hearings and again during the reconsideration hearing.

In conclusion, the resolution contains findings of fact based wholly on those presented at the hearing. The fact that there was no competing testimony by an expert as to the McDonough and Rea Associates traffic study is irrelevant. The Board is free to accept or reject any expert testimony that it hears. (Klug v. Bridgewater Tp. Planning Board) In this instance, the Board decided to reject the testimony it heard concerning whether the subdivision plan, as proposed, exceeded safety standards.

The findings noted in the resolution were and are fully supported by the testimony in the record. The resolution of approval should be upheld as the Board did not act in an arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable manner in granting the relief requested, and the resolution itself satisfactorily summarizes the Board’s findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to the municipal land use law, Ms. McLeer concludes.

Attorney Ed Liston Esq., representing the Fourteenth Street residents, also filed his Trial Briefs.

Mr. Liston argues that Mr. Flannery's testimony was not credible because he did not actually design the project, rather he was testifying off of plans which were designed by NewLines Engineering.

Mr. Liston also calls out McDonough & Rea Associates, noting that while they did submit a written traffic report, they did not actually testify at the Board hearing. This is a major issue especially in light of the fact that the Board and the neighbors called in to question the strength of the traffic report.

Similar to Ms. McLeer's arguments, Mr. Liston argues that even if the application was fully conforming, the Board did have leeway to deny the application.

Mr. Liston cites case law from Fallone Properties LLC v. Bethlehem Twp. Planning Board, which says "Planning Boards are granted wide latitude in the exercise of the delegated discretion due to their peculiar knowledge of local conditions."

Mr. Liston also cites case law from Northgate Condominium Association Inc. v. Borough of Hillsdale Planning Board, which says "where there is room for two opinions, the Board's action is valid when exercised honestly and upon due consideration, even though it may be believed that an erroneous conclusion has been reached."

Additionally, Mr. Liston cites case law from El Shaer v. Lawrence Planning Board, in which the Court upheld the Board's denial an application which complied with all of the bulk standards, however, "Plaintiff failed to present alternative plans which would have less of an environmental impact than the plan proposed, as required by the subdivision ordinance." The court in that matter additionally held that site access may be considered because "the requirement that a Subdivision provide safe ingress and egress is logically implied from the statutory language."

The trial in this matter was previously scheduled for earlier this week, however, the trial was adjourned because the Board and neighbors previously requested a postponement of submission of their trial briefs until now.

Due to this postponement, the due date for Plaintiff's reply brief was also adjourned to next Friday, April 7.

A new trial date has not yet been rescheduled.

This is not the only denial of a "by-right" application the Planning Board is now fighting to defend.

As previously reported here on FAA News, Joseph Bitton, represented by Attorney Adam Pfeffer, is suing to overturn the Planning Board's denial of his application on East 8th Street after he refused to provide a proper cul-de-sac bulb, which the neighbors opined was necessary for the safety of the neighborhood.

All Trial Briefs in that matter have been submitted. The trial for this case was previously scheduled for March 27, however, the court adjourned the trial until April 21.

Additionally, as reported here on FAA News, Lakewood developer Franklin Shapiro has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Planning Board's denial of his Minor Subdivision application which sought approval to subdivide the rear yard of 30 Independence Court into a second lot which would have a new single family house and driveway on the north side of James Street, just west of its signalized intersection with Sunset Road.

The Board filed a Pre-trial memorandum which asserts that the Board's decision is "supported by the evidence of record and authorized by the Municipal Land Use Law."

At a pretrial status conference recently held on the matter, Judge Hodgson set the trial date for May 18. Both parties will need to file Trial Briefs prior to that date.

Lakewood Township's taxpayers will fund the legal fees incurred by the Planning Board to fight these lawsuit.

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Anonymous said...

What makes krupnick infamous as a land owner

Anonymous said...

That he survived with those neighbors;)???